As of 1 July 2012, the Australian Government has implemented a new system in general skilled migration called 'Skill Select', an online system or talent pool that helps employers as well as the state and federal government to find suitable skilled workers. Applicants are required to submit an EOI (Expression of Interest) as a means of communicating with the department that you intend to migrate to Australia. You then need to await the immigration department's invitation.
You can lodge your visa application, but only after receiving the invitation. Please note that an EOI is only valid for two years. If you have not received an invitation in two year's time, you will need to submit an EOI again. Compared with the previous skilled migration processing procedure, 'Skill Select' is efficient and tends to only take 10 weeks to process your visa application. To minimise the amount of time spent waiting to receive the invitation, applicants should try to gain as many points as they can. An EOI is not a visa; applicants have to extend their visas or go back to their countries before the current visa expires.
The points test is divided into the following sections: age, English language ability, skilled employment, qualifications, credentialed community language, study in regional Australia, partner skills, professional year, nominated by a state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member in a specified/designated area.
Some graduates are unable to achieve 30 points in the age section as they are under 25 years old and some may encounter difficulties in achieving four 7s in the IELTS. Those who can achieve 7 in all bands in IELTS are better off as they can be accredited with 10 points for their English language ability.
Another essential step to complete before submitting an EOI is a skills assessment. Each assessing authority has its own requirements as many assessing authorizes have raised their English language requirements. However, there may be other options if you do need meet the language requirements.
Take accounting as an example, if you did not achieve an IELTS of 7 in each band, you have the option of doing a professional year instead. Professional year program offers internship opportunities and the employer may also offer you a permanent job after the internship period is completed.
You can also gain additional five points by completing the profession year. In this case you will be eligible to meet the requirements and pass the skills assessment upon completion of a professional year. The professional year programs are run for accounting, engineering and IT respectively. As of January 15, 2014, the Australian Computer Society will require a one-year post-qualification work experience period or a professional year certificate in order to finally attain a skills assessment for migration purposes. For anyone who has difficulties with finding employment, you can opt for the professional year instead.